My first book was set partly in Wollemi National Park, NW of Sydney. A friendly reader contacted me saying they'd enjoyed the story but letting me know I'd erred in mentioning a Death Adder in the bush there. She'd lived in the Sydney region all her life and said Tiger Snakes and Browns were the ones in that area. Fortunately I knew that there were also death adders as I'd seen them when I'd bush walked in the same area as my characters. But that experience reminded me that readers DO care what they read and they care about whether you get it right.
|Alpine sleigh ride|
Here are a few places I've visited specifically for my writing. Paris has appeared in a couple of my books now and I love setting scenes there. Visiting that gorgeous city provided inspiration for quite a few scenes in my books and I know it's going to crop up again.
I've written quite a few sheikh romances but it was a while since I was in the Middle East so on a trip to Europe a few years ago I made a point of stopping and visiting some of the places I wanted to write about - including the desert at sunset and the souk (particularly the spice markets and the jewellery stores). The pictures I took are a source of inspiration but so too are memories of how it felt to be there and even the scent of the place.
|Sleeping in a castle|
And if you're writing a royal story there's something to be said for visiting a castle. Not just visiting but staying there. I was lucky enough to spend a night in a castle overlooking the Rhine on a wintry night near Christmas. The skies weren't blue but the place was almost deserted because it was off season. As a result it felt as if we had the place to ourselves - just what you want if you're trying to imagine living there. And being a Cinderella story there was the question of uniforms. My Prince Charming needed an old style dress uniform for a ball - a perfect reason to check out a local historical museum for the finer points of dressing my alpha male.
|Garden at Clos Luce|
I'm hoping to do plenty more research for future books, hopefully with a little travel thrown in and definitely with a chance to chat with interesting people.
How about you? If you're a writer what's the most interesting thing you've done in the name of research? If you're not a writer, what would you like an excuse to research?